November 15 2012
Vicki E. Alger
Part of President Obama’s green jobs stimulus programs was supposed to train people for the alternative energy sector. But a recent audit from Office of Inspector General for the Labor Department found that the program had only “limited success” meeting employment and retention goals—and that’s a real understatement.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested the audit, saying, “The green jobs training program belongs in the long list of the Administration’s bad investments including the bankruptcies of Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound, and just this month, A123.”
Previous reports have found that the $500 million green jobs and training portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have been a waste of money. But as the Labor Department found, the green jobs training program managed a retention rate of just 16 percent. As for more than 80 percent of green workers, “we found no evidence that they needed green job training for any of these purposes.” (See summary p. 3) As the Washington Times reported:
Jane Oates, assistant secretary for employment and training, also said as the rest of the training is completed, they expect the numbers to improve. [Well, that’s true. It would be pretty hard for the numbers to get much worse.]
…Mr. Issa said in addition to poor performance records, the green jobs money “served as a slush fund” for the Obama administration to dole out payments to allies “like the National Council of La Raza, the Blue Green alliance and the U.S. Steelworkers Union.”
So this is Washington’s idea of success?